Officials at the Great Smoky Mountains National Park have closed a trail and a backcountry shelter due to aggressive bear activity.
A statement from the park says the Mt. Le Conte shelter and trails to the popular Cliff Tops area are closed until further notice.
The statement says trails to the summit of Mt. Le Conte are still open, but hikers should take precautions by staying in groups of three or more and carrying bear spray.
The closure comes after a ranger encountered an aggressive bear near the trail to Cliff Tops. Despite the trained ranger’s attempts to scare the bear off, the animal approached him repeatedly and followed him to LeConte Lodge before retreating into the woods.
Wildlife employees have been stationed at the site to monitor the situation.
Tennessee officials are looking for more groups to serve summer meals to make sure low-income children don’t go hungry when school is not in session.
The Chattanooga Times Free Press reports that during the school year, about 650,000 Tennessee children get free or reduced-priced school lunches. But only a fraction of those youngsters participate in summer meals programs.
Devin Stone, a spokesman for the state Department of Human Services, says there’s a great need to reach more children when school is out.
That’s why the agency is looking for more groups to provide free meals during the summer. The groups can include schools, private nonprofit organizations, government entities and nonprofit residential camps.
In the typical fray of the legislative session, few paid close attention to a seemingly innocuous bill about recycling computer equipment. That was until federal agents started arresting lawmakers.
Tuesday marks the 10th anniversary of the arrest of five former lawmakers in the FBI’s bribery sting operation codenamed Tennessee Waltz. The case involved a scheme by lawmakers to collect money in exchange for shepherding through bills on behalf of the company called E-Cycle Management.
E-Cycle was an FBI front company that secretly recorded 2,000 hours of video and audio of lawmakers being wined and dined — and paid off in cash by undercover agents.
Following the corruption sting, lawmakers were spurred into trying to improve transparency and ethics in the Statehouse. A decade later, most of those efforts have faded.
Preservationists have added a small tract to the Stones River National Battlefield site just outside Murfreesboro. The Civil War Trust says it has added some two acres to the battlefield, increasing protection for the site and increasing visibility. Much of the park is now accessed by a motor trail and walkways. The Daily News Journal reports a small house will be removed to restore the land to how it appeared during the battle between Union and Confederate armies. The outcome of the battle was inconclusive, but Confederate forces withdrew to the South in what was the start if the Tullahoma campaign.
The Tennessee Supreme Court is holding oral arguments before hundreds of high school students in the Girls and Boys State programs.
The week long programs show students how government works through first-hand experience. In preparation for the court hearings, the students will learn about the judicial process and study the cases that will be presented.
The court meets on Wednesday at Tennessee Technological University in Cookeville, where the American Legion Boys State program is being held.
On Thursday, the court meets at Lipscomb University in Nashville, where the American Legion Auxiliary Volunteer Girls State is being held.
Both groups will hear two cases argued.
Several car crashes slowed travel on interstate 24 in Coffee County on Memorial Day. State Troopers and Sheriff’s Department Deputies attended to single car accidents from the 97 to 127 mile markers in both lanes of travel. Traffic snarled near the 105 exit Monday afternoon after a series of minor accidents. Brief rains probably contributed to some of the travel problems. Coffee and Cannon counties were under a severe thunderstorm warning briefly yesterday afternoon. There were no reports of storm damage.